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Mr. THOMAS. Admiral, I did not figure it that way. I figured it two ways.
One was assuming that the same percentage that were buried in the first half of 1961 and 1960 would apply in 1962, the percentage of the total years burials, and figured it also on your basis of 187 out of 402, which comes to a slightly higher percent. But in either case, it doesn't vary the percentage enough to be significant.
Admiral Hoyt. Of course, you and I may have different figures.
Mr. HUGHES. Perhaps we can compare notes with the admiral and see if we can reconcile our figures any way. We will be glad to do that, if you wish.
Admiral HOYT. That is all.
If there are no further questions, Mr. Hughes, we appreciate your appearing before the subcommittee this afternoon, and your contribution.
You are excused from the witness chair.
The Chair would announce that tomorrow we will start with the national veterans' organizations, to be followed by the national cemetary associations.
There being no further business to come before the subcommittee, the subcommittee will stand adjourned until 9:45 tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, the subcommittee recessed at 4:30 p.m., to reconvene at 9:45 a.m., Tuesday, March 6, 1962.)
NATIONAL CEMETERY POLICY
TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 1962
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 9:55 a.m., in the committee room, 1324 New House Office Building, Hon. J. T. Rutherford (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. RUTHERFORD. The Subcommittee on National Parks will be in order for the continued consideration of the national cemetery policy.
The first witness this morning will be Mr. Frank T. Pedonti, supervisor, veterans' graves registration, Boston, Mass.
Is he in the room?
The next witness listed is Mr. Miles D. Kennedy, director, Legislative Commission, the American Legion.
Mr. ASPINALL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to welcome Mr. Kennedy and his companion before this committee. Mr. Kennedy has been one of the great servants of the veterans. He speaks for them very effectively. And he has been a great servant in the interests of the public as he has worked for the veterans.
Miles, it is good to see you again. STATEMENT OF MILES D. KENNEDY, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LEGIS
LATIVE COMMISSION, THE AMERICAN LEGION; ACCOMPANIED BY CLARENCE H. OLSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION, AMERICAN LEGION Mr. KENNEDY. Thank you, Mr. Aspinall. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, first off, I would like to have the record show I am accompanied by Mr. Clarence H. Olson, our assistant national legislative director.
Mr. ASPINALL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the exhibit A which Mr. Kennedy has given to us made a part of the file.
Mr. RUTHERFORD. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. KENNEDY. I want to thank you, Mr. Aspinall, for making that observation because I was afraid you gentlemen might get a little afraid when you saw the size of that exhibit A. In my
remarks I was going to ask that it be marked for identification or put in evidence, whichever the chairman or you gentlemen saw fit. That is a compila
tion of some statistics, which I will cover later on, prepared at the request of Admiral Hoyt and Mr. Witmer, your two very fine staff members.
For the record, I want to express my appreciation to those two fine gentlemen for the courtesies they have extended to Mr. Olson and myself.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I thank you on behalf of the American Legion for this opportunity to appear before you concerning the study of the present inadequacy of our national cemeteries, which this honorable subcommittee has undertaken.
As you so ably said yesterday, Mr. Chairman, there are many other things you could spend your time on, and we of the American Legion are especially grateful to you for undertaking this serious task, and we realize the great amount of work entailed. This is something we have been looking forward to, Mr. Chairman and members, for many, many years. I know it is a tough problem, and we are exceedingly grateful to you gentlemen and Mrs. Pfost for undertaking this study in the way you have done.
In the belief that all witnesses, except Members of Congress, in a hearing of this importance should qualify themselves, I shall proceed to do so.
I have been a member of the bar of the State of New York since November 1923, and am a member of the bars of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. I have an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, having served in World War I.
I have been a member of the American Legion since 1923, having held numerous offices in our organization, including that of commander of the American Legion of the Department of New York in 1945; from November 1945 until December 31, 1949, I was a member of the National Legislative Commission of the American Legion and have been its national legislative director since January 1, 1950.
We of the American Legion agree wholeheartedly with the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs in that it is impractical to consider, individually, all of the cemetery bills now pending before the full committee. I know that from 13 years' past experience before the Subcommittee on Public Lands of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
We would also like to take this occasion to compliment Chairman Rutherford in connection with his observation that an overall review of the national cemetery situation is imperative.
The American Legion was chartered by an act of Congress on September 16, 1919, and its membership is composed of men and women who hold an honorable discharge as a result of their military service in either World War I, World War II, or the Korean conflict. As of December 31, 1961, our membership for 1961 was 2,628,732 and as of March 5, 1962, it was 2,211,440 for the year 1962. As the members of our organization know, for membership purposes
calendar year dues are due on October 20. These are the latest figures I could get, sir.
So that I am sure the subcommittee, several of whom belong to our organization, can well appreciate that our people are deeply concerned and very much interested in the study now under consideration.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, were we an organization that only asked, I might be hesitant in coming before you today-even though that which we seek is for others. But our record of giving is a source of pride and satisfaction-giving, not only in the field of rehabilitation, where the Legion annually spends $2 million and where thousands of service officers, almost all unpaid, give countless thousands of hours of service; but giving, also, in other programs, such as child welfare, national security, Boys State and junior baseball in the field of Americanism.
I am informed by Mr. Randel Shake, the director of our National Child Welfare Commission, that the total amount expended for child welfare alone since that program began, down to and including May 30, 1961, is $171,299,374.41. This figure includes expenditures the individual posts and departments—States—and likewise includes expenditures of units and departments of the American Legion Auxiliary:
I have three exhibits attached to my statement, gentlemen.
Attached hereto, marked "exhibit B” and made a part hereof by reference thereto is a copy of Resolution No. 48, adopted at the May 3-4, 1961, meeting of the national executive committee—the governing body of the American Legion between national conventions urging Congress to
* * * appropriate sufficient money to acquire land and to enlarge existing facilities and to create new cemeteries where there is a need.
Similar resolutions have been adopted at many of our previous national conventions or at meetings of the national executive committee.
It will be noted from the foregoing resolution that our organization expresses approval of plans for the enlargement of existing facilities or the establishment of new cemeteries "where there is a need,” real and sustaining.
This resolution does not mean that our people urge the enlargement of all of the existing national cemeteries, or the establishment of new cemeteries in each and every one of the 50 States; what we mean is that we do call upon the Congress to enlarge present or establish new facilities where they find there is a reasonable need for same to meet the demands of the future, taking into consideration the number of veterans and other eligibles alive today.
In the hope that the information may be of some help and assistance to the members of the subcommittee in connection with the study of the cemetery problem, our national headquarters sent to the respective State commanders of the American Legion a questionnaire, a copy of which is attached hereto, marked "exhibit C and made a part thereof by reference thereto. This was also done for the sake of uniformity in obtaining data.